POEMS BY DENNIS ANDREW S. AGUINALDO

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The Masses are composed (I

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delirious with song); a few
on motorcycles, blowing fully-

paid horns, worse for wear,
brushed up. Of
the women, those pregnant: thighs

muffling the laughter, taking streets, tearing
down our petty names on iron sheets.

If, you

won’t call, why did you ask for it?
There’s strength in numbers.
If you’re already happy, what’s

the point? Is to change it so

important you have to mark our heads
with hearts of ash, our ears
with tiny bites
our necks with the heat o
f you breathing? It’s

making us less than what
we should be, asking

for the deed to honor our parents
as if forgetful lovers eating our work
making little of our hands, the entire

time piling contempt upon our needs:

babies want more TV more than you
they will buy you medicine,
one day. Oh this
this cold sheet here, naked
and without you.

A shore lined with cupcakes, my

daughters fixed on pink & sprinkled, my
wedded finds the array indelicate

yet able to say something, what
with tiny waves at it all day. What

if the rare type arrives to embrace
criticism? If some genius came to

wheeze on the same deck, face to
face? (a) Avoid at all costs. Myself

I’d chew the stressed ‘fore the unstressed
then forget where the turtle
had buried her

eggs, which of my fold had squished her
way to murder. (b) Maintain balance.

* * *

Settlers

Instead we arrive at stone.
People bare a face of What now

asking for house plans, these uneasy
by the vises, corners curling as a

breeze dances on worktable dust
as though on flags of countries

now defeated, once aquamarine
(yes, I’ll do). Are to rebuild here /

are to take what they can get.
An explorer and her monkey rides

the sub. White vans delivered us
to stand on three legs, take footage

tug at our collars from time to time.
Tat artists, you guys’re sweet

but all you are is one finger after another
(for richer / or in health) so, what

if this not-picture book tells you you’re
better off sick of these fumes?

Whoever among you has embraced the builder

take this hard hat.
Signed with solder, polished with spit.

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